It’s the first road game for the Penn State football program since the Jerry Sandusky sex-abuse scandal rocked the nation as the No. 21 Nittany Lions will know by the time they take the field Saturday afternoon at Ohio State if they can clinch a spot in the Big Ten Championship Game with a win against the Buckeyes. However, OSU is a 7-point favorite on Bodog’s NCAA football odds.
Penn State (8-2, 5-1) leads Wisconsin by a game in the Legends Division, and the Badgers have a tough test at Illinois at noon on Saturday. So a loss there would allow PSU to win the division by beating Ohio State (6-4, 3-3), which is still mathematically alive for the division title as well.
The Nittany Lions played remarkably well last week considering the media firestorm surrounding the program, but they fell short at home 17-14 to Nebraska in defensive coordinator Tom Bradley’s first game as the interim head coach with Joe Paterno having been fired. No. 1 tailback Silas Redd, battling injuries to his collarbone and chest, was held to 53 total yards. Backup Stephfon Green tried to pick up the slack for Redd, gaining 71 yards and rushing for two touchdowns. It appears Bradley will stick with Matt McGloin as his sole quarterback as former co-QB Rob Bolden didn’t play vs. the Huskers. McGloin was 16-for-34 for 193 yards.
Ohio State’s Big Ten title hopes took a beating last week with a shocking 26-23 overtime loss at Purdue, ending the Buckeyes’ three-game winning streak. QB Braxton Miller threw two TD passes but was only 8-for-18 for 132 yards. The Buckeyes would have to win out and have Wisconsin lose Saturday at Illinois and then beat Penn State in the regular-season finale for OSU to win the Legends Division.
OSU beat Penn State 38-14 last season. PSU led 14-3 at halftime but McGloin threw a pair of interceptions that were returned for touchdowns in the loss. Penn State has covered just once in its past 10 games vs. a team with a winning record. PSU is 1-7 ATS in past eight visits to Columbus.
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